Using Yoga Beyond Asanas
Traditional asanas were conceived centuries ago for healthy and physically active individuals to maintain good health. However today, we lead a sedentary lifestyle and are in pain, suffering from one disease or the other. In such cases, traditional asanas could actually harm a person with damaged cartilage and joints or even aggravate current pain points.
For today's Yoga practitioner, asanas have to be adapted and customized. In fact, when modified these asanas can also be used to relieve pain and chronic diseases. This understanding is what we call Yoga Therapy. Strength based flexibility, which involves an active core along with right breathing, is the fundamental of such therapy.
The ABC’s of the therapy programs are:
Awareness: accepting our limits
Balance: muscle flexibility with muscle strength
Core: connecting through axial muscles and breaths while maintaining alignments
On a case-to-case basis, tools and techniques used in one-on-one sessions could be one or more of the following:
- Rope and belt therapy
- Assisted stretching
- Pilates-based core strengthening
- Muscle-balancing practices
- Posture therapy
Almost all the sessions start with a basic awareness training in posture. Posture is not just about sitting and standing tall. It is about driving with a properly aligned body and sleeping right too. The teachers trained by Dr. Mahtani are taught to think of a human body as a building that needs aligned beams and pillars to make for a strong frame. Our bones and joints have to be properly lined up to function effectively and efficiently. We aim to recover from wear and tear due to misuse.
Due to lack of awareness and sedentary habits we overuse certain muscles which eventually become short and tight and we underuse other muscles which lose function, tone and strength. This creates misalignments and eventually lead to joint damage.
Posture therapy is the corner stone to successful pain management. Our 'Posture Awareness' program is designed to:
- Increase flexibility of the back
- Strengthen muscles of posture such as abs and hips
- Stretch overused and shortened muscles of the neck and back
Dr. Mahtani could also recommend health batches at Param Yoga that are modified to suit members with aches and pains. Each session has one of the following focus areas, while it doesn't ignore other parts of the body:
- Stable knees
- Flexible and sturdy back
- Happy heart and fresh lungs
- Strong core and good metabolism
- Relaxed shoulders and neck
- Relaxed mind and strong Immunity